Relationships are wonderful things, and making them last is a great way to have something constant and good in your life for a very long time. What often winds up happening, however, is that we often realize that after a certain point, simply being with another person stops being enough, and a relationship starts taking a certain amount of work. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, as just about anything is made better by requiring that you work for it a bit, but can often lead to frustration and tension in a relationship that just doesn’t need to exist. We’ll talk about a five good tips that can help you really keep the best parts of your relationship alive so that things don’t get stale after that “honeymoon” period is over.

1. Don’t Anticipate an Infinite Honeymoon. That “honeymoon” period is actually the basis for our first piece of advice. Everyone’s familiar with the thrill of young love (“young,” in this case referring to the fact that it’s a relatively new feeling with that particular person). As relationships get “older,” however, these feelings start to fade, and can leave us wondering if we’re really meant for our partner. The fact that utter jubilance stops being automatic just because you’re in the presence of your partner doesn’t mean that anything is wrong — it just means you’ve reached the point where you’re going to have to start putting some work into what’s likely become a serious relationship. So long as you don’t expect living your life alongside another person to be something that’s always effortless, you’ll be just fine.

2. Make Plans. Both big and small, plans are a great way to keep a relationship alive. Maybe you plan on an exciting trip in a couple of months. Maybe you plan on doing something that you’ve talked about for months, and you’re going to do it this very Friday. No matter what the scale, plans are a great way to symbolically invest yourselves in the future and the health of your relationship, by setting aside times that you’ll spend together and doing the things you love.

3. Improve Yourselves. Together. The plans that you’ve set together are a great way to take advantage of this tip. Everyone should consistently be working at being their best self, and doing this with your partner or alongside him or her is a great way to strengthen and foster your connection. Pick activities and pursuits that see you learning new talents or finding new ways to develop the ones you’ve got — learning something you love is absolutely one of the keys to a very happy life.

4. Get a Chance to Do Your Thing. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that alone time is out of the question. It’s really great to be caring and do things with your partner, but not every single interest is going to be a shared one, and that’s completely fine. It’s important that both you and your partner give yourselves time to maintain your individuality, hang out with your friends, and blow off steam in your own individual ways.

5. Make Sacrifices. They Don’t All Have to Be Huge. This one’s something of a general rule about being in love. It’s important to do your own thing, yes. Not every single interested will be shared, true. But you should still smile and do things that you really just don’t feel like doing, simply because it’ll make your partner happy. Mastering this technique (it’s typically not something that comes easy to those who haven’t been in a serious relationship before) is the best way to develope a sense of selflessness and show your partner that you care enough to put his or her interests and happiness before your desire to do exactly what you want, when you want to do it.